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Old 06-06-2007, 01:02 PM
55 posts, read 332,997 times
Reputation: 37


Chimp I love geocaching. We do a lot of it here in Northern Arizona. Although the little boxes of treasures are considered littering etc in the National Forests. With valleys, volcanoes, and such it is cool when we hit an obstacle and have to find another way to the finish.

We use a Garmin.

I love maps. I homeschooled my autistic son from 6 thru 12 grade and we traveled the country experiencing history. He did a wonderful job. He has a handheld compass that lets him know that we are heading in the right direction. He has never Steered me wrong. Hey, maybe a new job for him, he can rent himself out to lead people around their areas...

We even drove from RI to Texas on handwritten directions and never got lost. Some people have a better sense of direction than others.

If you can't use a map forget doing the Amazing Race...lol. I figured if more of them learned to read a map they would go farther in the show. One of my sons favorite shows as he is limited to how much tv he can watch.

Because of the allowed use of calculators many kids can't do mental math and even make change.Give them a penny and see them go " huh, what do I do with this".. I know a different subject. But there is so much technology that makes us a bit lazy.

And by the way I travel alone with two special needs children, my daughter is in a wheelchair and son as I said is autistic. We leave on our adventures with a positive attitute and after 20 years still doing things the old fashioned way.

So this fall when you see a minivan with Arizona plates and a young man reading a map wave to us..lol.

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Old 06-06-2007, 01:50 PM
217 posts, read 742,928 times
Reputation: 60
Isn't geocaching a BLAST! The kids love "treasure hunting.

I am with you about the maps too. I am always the navigator and usually use maps. We just recently used the Garmin for road trips. It works pretty good but I think if ours could talk it would say "can't you people stay on the route I gave you!!" We love detours. It is a great back up for being in a new area but for me it has its limits for exporing. I want to see the whole area on the map and not just our immediate spot. I like to know what is coming up. We have AAA and always get all the maps from them too. Love the free maps. pretty soon I should have the whole US!
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:54 PM
185 posts, read 909,578 times
Reputation: 41
the advantage to the more expensive brand gps's is that you can get more software for them.

when purchasing a gps consider whether you want it for car only or not.

There are models that install in your car and stay there or there are hand held ones.

We have a garmin one that's about the size of a paperback book. It has a large color screen in it. We can hook it up to the computer and download new maps into it. Right now we have maps that cover from Minnesota to Massachussets through virginia in it. It's great for trips. We can enter an address and search or enter coordinates and search. We can also hook it up to the computer and specify a route for future use.

Ours is a handheld model, and we choose it because we planned to take it hiking and occasionally use it in the car. But we almost always use it in the car now. I take it when I go to yardsales or to unfamiliar areas of town. And it's wonderful on cross country trips. The disadvantage of ours is that we have to keep it on the dash or in our hands at the stearing wheel or it looses satalite connection, and it slides all over the dashboard since it's not an installed model.

We love ours. we keep rechargable batteries in it and they last 8 hours of solid use.

we have friends that use theirs for geo cashing. the kids enjoy the geo cashing search and consider it the most important part of their birthday parties. if that's your purpose you don't need an expensive one.

maps are great, but when I'm lost and trying to find my way home with a screaming toddler in the backseat. Turning on the GPS, pulling up coordinates to our house and pushing the go to button is a sanity saver! and it's a great thing to have when traveling in a new area, you can go anywhere with the confidence that you won't get too lost.
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:55 PM
Location: Cary NC
125 posts, read 494,025 times
Reputation: 79
I also have a garmin street pilot. Got it offline , i think boatersworld.com, or newegg.com, for about $150 less than retail store. LOVE my garmin, but understand that unless you update frequently, it might send you on some wild goose chases - sending you down roads that no longer exist, or are closed, etc...
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:37 PM
Location: Raleigh
1,536 posts, read 5,139,886 times
Reputation: 783
I bought the Garmin Nuvi when it first came out and spent about $700 something Geeeezzzzz That stinks. Things are more expensive when they first come out.
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:33 PM
548 posts, read 2,448,691 times
Reputation: 362
I have the Garmin 550 (?). I love it. I hate maps and have no trouble saying I avoid them at all costs. For me, this replaces Mapquest, that's all. I've spent the last 20 years lost, pulling off the side of a road with a map, missing a turn...UGH! I'm seriously directionally impaired. It was FRUSTRATING!! I'm sure those of you who have a sense of direction wouldn't understand, but I have been lost in some really sketchy areas, and lost for hours..it stinks!

So...good riddence to maps in my car! I was relying on Mapquest, which does a good job, but I love that I can just get in the car, plug in the destination, and off I go! I wouldn't ever go back!!

So anyway..my Garmin tells you"turn right onto Main St. in .3 miles" etc., has a color screen. It also has some features I really don't need like linking into a Blackberry and mp3, but I got it using frequent flyer miles, and that happened to be the only model available. Love it!
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:11 AM
Location: Apex
61 posts, read 289,838 times
Reputation: 31
Garmin C530 StreetPilot. Picked it up on sale at Office Depot for $350. It takes the pressure off when you're drving around in a strange place, hunting for street signs in the dark, etc. I still like maps, so the Garmin is mainly a time saver. It occasionally gives you goofy directions, but still a great piece of technology.
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Old 06-07-2007, 01:09 PM
19 posts, read 66,907 times
Reputation: 14
I have the Garmin Street Pilot and I was driving around like a local when i was checking out the area! It was great! Didn't get lost once- stress free! Amazon has them for under $300.
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Old 06-07-2007, 01:17 PM
18 posts, read 65,176 times
Reputation: 13
Magellan Roadmate 300T from Costco for $250. I bought it and couldn't be happier. It's helped immensely getting around Raleigh and they are releasing their new update (which have a lot of the new roads!) in August, only 2 months from now.

It's only $250 and you get costco's 6 month return policy if you don't like it.

Costco Magellan RoadMate 3000T
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Old 06-07-2007, 01:31 PM
Location: Cary, NC
82 posts, read 247,586 times
Reputation: 90
Garmin Nuvi Series. These are the only way to go. They are extremely thin and light and built very well. The mapping software is flawless and the bells & whistles are nice as well. I would recomend at least the Garmin Nuvi 350 because it speaks street names. I bought the 360 because of the bluetooth hands free calling feature but it is not necessary. I never use it and hands free is noy a law in NC. The higher number Nuvi's 370and up just add more bells and whistles and bigger screen. Get the Garmin Nuvi 350, you will not be dissapointed.
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